Engagement in a facebook group will go further than simply posting about your business.
How many facebook groups do you belong to that offer one day per week where you can post about your business, products or services along with links to your facebook page or website?
Do you simply post and leave the page?
The idea behind groups requesting these types of posts is partly engagement, partly so you have the opportunity to tell others what you do and partly so you can see what other services are available that you might need. For the group administrators, the engagement in getting members to post usually works (as long as the question or request isn't difficult - too complicated and people run like scared rabbits). Members posting at the request to do also usually works because businesses are eager to have another place where they can share information about their business outside of their own facebook fans and friends. Where it all falls short is those same businesses who want people to look at their business fail to look at the other businesses posting.
I don't know how many times we have watched a business post about their business in a group, leave and 5 minutes later post elsewhere on facebook ISO XYZ company to do .... Meanwhile, the group they just posted their business information on had three businesses that do exactly what they are looking for. Really?
Groups can be a wonderful means of learning, gathering information and getting to know other businesses in your area if used in a manner to connect with people instead of just trying to get information out. Every now and then I see interaction, but most do not even bother to like or comment on the posts of others. This simple little 'like' will at least show the others their posts are being looked at - but better yet, opening up a dialogue with the other businesses can be rewarding. You might just find that person is your next best customer -- all because you took the time to reach out, comment or ask a question about their product or service.
I run a group called Networking in Niagara on facebook (look it up and request to join). Every Tuesday, I have a feature called Tell All Tuesday. On this day businesses can post about their products and services including links in the comments of the original post. It works well the days I simply ask for the post. If I ask people to recommend another business as well as posting their own, posts dry up. If I ask what product or service people are seeking, posts dry up. If I ask what their plans are for the upcoming week to promote their business, posts dry up. I think it is just too much of a thought process for businesses to do.. But wouldn't you want to get more information out about your business. And, wouldn't you want to connect with others?
Facebook Group Etiquette
- Always, always, always read the introduction and 'what is allowed' on the group you are a member of. No group administrator likes deleting posts because they go against the policy of the group.
- Do not bombard people within the group with your business message. You can be more effective by posting once per week and engaging through comments and likes the rest of the week.
- Comment on other posts - businesses pay attention to those who comment more so than a simple like.
- If it is a very active group, take the time to read other posts before asking a question. Chances are good your question has been asked and answered.
- Do not ask a question or request services if you are not truly searching for a supplier. The businesses responding to your request are busy too, they believe they are helping you by taking the time to answer your request. Thank each person who responds - let them know you value the time it took for them to respond to your request. (Too many times people do this just to gain traction for their own business, with no interest in hiring anyone for the service requested). Crying WOLF never works.
- Be courteous and respectful of others at all times.
Groups on facebook are a wonderful opportunity to connect with others with like-minded interests. You can learn, engage and grow your business if you engage and follow the rules. Think of it like you are networking in person. You wouldn't walk up to someone at a networking event, hand them your card - tell them what you do and walk away without listening to what the other person has to say.. Why would you do this on facebook?
Try it, you will be surprised how more value you will get from engaging in the group(s) you belong to.